Teck’s big surge in profit still falls short

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TECK.B) had a big increase in first-quarter profits thanks to higher prices for its coal, copper and zinc but the company still fell short of analyst estimates due to weak sales volumes.

The Vancouver-based miner had $572 million of net income in the first quarter, equal to 99 cents per share.

That’s six times higher than in Teck’s first quarter last year.

Teck says steelmaking coal was the biggest factor behind the surge, with prices nearly tripling from a year ago, while copper prices rose 25 per cent and zinc was up 66 per cent.

Total revenue was $2.89 billion, up $1.19 billion or 70 per cent from the first quarter of 2016.

But analysts had estimated more than $3 billion of revenue and $1.28 per share of net income, according to Thomson Reuters.

Teck says sales of its steelmaking coal got off to a slow start before surging to a March record high, while copper volumes were 20 per cent lower than a year earlier because of lower ore grades at one of its mines.

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